Joseph Facal: «Contempt and machine guns» [‘Le mépris et les mitrailleuses’]:

First, here is the original French article by Mr. Facal, published in the Journal of Montreal yesterday:

Second, before presenting a translation further below, Bambi cannot help not to think to herself: Canada seems a bit like Lebanon nowadays (not a good comparison for us), that is with its weak governance and lawless pockets; villages or suburbs where police or the Lebanese army may not dare to enter to intervene (although from time to time they do so, with casualties). Why is Bambi saying this? Because of Kahnawake both in 1990 and, more so, now in 2020. This is what happens when we postpone addressing problems or potential conflicts for decades.

Bambi is old enough as an immigrant to remember the Oka crisis, which began when a check point was erected by Mohawks in Kanesatake. When the Sûreté de Québec (provincial police) intervened, one of its officers got killed.

Lebanon too tried to ignore, pretended all was good, and somehow implicitly accepted the non-sovereignty of its rule of law to all. Some kept their weapons (at the end civil war) and became above the law. They somehow became the law itself, justifying this with the “holiness” of their resistance, especially after a history of being neglected and/or oppressed.   

Anyhow, that is Lebanon in a different continent miles away. What about us here in Québec or Canada? Mr. Joseph Facal’s article may help us understand… or recover our apparently lost 30-year-long memory:

When the hype overwhelms everything, you have to get back to the facts.

François Legault [Premier or “Prime Minister” of Québec] says there are heavy weapons in Kahnawake.

He says this to make it clear why the police is hesitant to intervene.

And there is an outcry! How does he dare? Can of oil on fire! Pyromaniac!

The next day, oops, we learn… that there are heavy weapons, including machine guns.

On January 7, we found these weapons during a vehicle search. Come on…


Only the idiots will be surprised.

There were already heavy weapons in 1990, and I do not know that a large operation to clean up the criminalized elements of these territories has taken place since that time.

Obviously, as soon as Prime Minister Legault mentioned these weapons, a Mohawk spokesperson asked for an apology.

Then, in a press release, the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake declared:

“The defenders of our territory are unarmed and are peaceful. There are no guns.”

So, it was false and untrue. Who should apologize? Surely not the one who told the truth.

Prime Minister Legault was all the more justified in telling the truth that he cannot count on the Mohawk police.

The chief said: “We have no interest in criminalizing people who defend our rights.”

This gentleman has chosen his side: his own clan before the law, and one wonders what rights he is talking about.

The “right” to machine guns? The “right” to tell the courts to get off? The “right” to paralyze everything? Show me that right.

But when it comes to Indigenous people, the prize for delirium goes to non-Indigenous people who want to be on the right side of morality.

They tolerate behaviours on the part of some Indigenous factions that they would not tolerate from any other group.

In this hesitation, even in this refusal to denounce what one would denounce in anyone else, there is an infantilizing condescension towards Indigenous people, posed as not being required or not capable of being compelled to the same moral behaviours as us.

This amounts to saying: “Them- one must-understand-one must-endure-what-do-you want-they-have-suffered-so-much-because of our-fault-that-we-are-going-to-look-elsewhere-that we will pretend-not-to-see-the-nose-in-the-middle-of-the-face ”.

When contempt is wrapped in good feelings, it remains contempt, but it is even more insidious because it belittles the other by pretending to raise or defend him/her.

A column in La Presse [a French-Canadian daily newspaper] argued that Prime Minister Legault’s statement amounted to saying: “The message is clear: it is war. Over there, on the other side of the barricades, is the enemy. “

At this level of stupidity, it gets dirty to answer.


See also all these people who suddenly become experts in crisis management. Hon, the Prime Minister shouldn’t have …

What, do they know? No, they don’t know.

Balzac described some journalists as “nothingologists”: they talk about everything. However, they are not experts in anything.

Legault was right, and the first person responsible for this mess is Justin Trudeau.”

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